Ng Lap Seng trial set for January, 2017

Local real estate developer Ng Lap Seng and his assistant will face a federal trial on January 23 next year for his alleged bribery of an ex-president of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, John

Local real estate developer Ng Lap Seng and his assistant will face a federal trial on January 23 next year for his alleged bribery of an ex-president of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, John Ashe, who died last month, Reuters reported.
According to the news agency the trial date for the local businessman and his assistant was set by U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in Manhattan on Monday.
Last year, Ng and his assistant, Jeff Yin, were charged by U.S. authorities with bribing Ashe, who was an ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN General Assembly from 2013 to 2014. Ashe was found dead at the end of last month from injuries resulting from lifting a barbell while on a bench, according to foreign media reports.
“We want to proceed to trial as quickly as possible,” the news agency quoted a lawyer of Ng, Hugh Mo, as saying outside the court on Monday.
The local billionaire is alleged to have given Ashe over US$500,000 (MOP62,500) in bribes for the UN official to seek support from the global organization for building a conference centre in the Special Administrative Region to be developed by Ng’s company – the Sun Kian Ip Group.
The businessman and his assistant have both pleaded not guilty.
At the end of last month, it was also claimed that Chinese officials were involved in the bribery case, including in the development of South-South News – a media outlet set up by Ng for funnelling money to Ashe, Reuters quoted Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal as saying during a statement at a hearing in a Manhattan federal court.
The American prosecutor added then that a legal representative of the local businessman, Tai Park, could create a potential conflict in representing Ng in the case due to his previous work with the Chinese government.
The allegation from the U.S. body attracted a response by the Chinese Foreign Ministry – which said it does not ‘understand’ anything about the U.S. investigation, adding that it ‘should take the facts as its foundation and not act on hearsay’.

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